Tesla Files Lawsuit Against Ontario Government Over Canceled Electric Vehicle Rebate Program


Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Canada ULC has filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government, alleging it was the subject of "unjustified targeting" when the province cancelled its electric vehicle rebate program last month.

The suit requests the court to quash Ford's decision, adding that the government gave no reason for excluding Tesla from the September 10 deadline for those who have had their vehicle delivered from a dealer.

In court documents cited by Canadian media, Tesla slammed the "arbitrary" exclusion.

Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Bob Nichols said in a statement that the government is aware of Tesla's application for judicial review, and that it would be inappropriate to comment "as this matter is before the courts".

Tesla called the decision "unreasonable and unlawful" and said that "it has created the impression that Tesla Canada and its customers will not be treated equally under the law".

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Purchasers were able to garner as much as CAN$14,000 (US$10,636) toward the purchase, but newly elected Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative Party killed the plan in July.

Tesla sells vehicles directly to customers rather than through a dealership, making its vehicles ineligible for the incentives under the new rules.

As has made headlines around the world, Tesla originally received deposits for more than 400,000 Model 3s, many bought by Ontario customers.

Subsidies are generally frowned upon by his members because they distort the marketplace, but the rebates for electric vehicles are seen as providing a balance for the substantial difference in price versus fossil-fuel powered cars, Adams said.

Since 2010, the Ontario government had offered incentives to individuals purchasing or leasing hybrid-electric or electric vehicles. By December, electric vehicles accounted for 1.4 per cent of all sales.